SAN ILDEFONSO, Bulacan: Lina Agustin, 43, of Norzagaray, Bulacan, expects a better life with her new profession as a certified manicurist, which she said would financially help her in raising her children, especially her two-year-old child.
Agustin is among the over 1, 210 residents of Bulacan who graduated on Thursday under vocational programs of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) held at Bulacan Agricultural State College in this municipality.
“I can now work to help my husband in raising my family,” Agustin, a housewife and mother of five, told The Manila Times after the graduation. “My husband has no regular source of income, so this would really help.”
Secretary Joel Villanueva, Tesda director-general, who attended the mass graduation, said the programs aimed to give opportunities to Filipinos who have no financial capacity to enter formal school.
In an interview, he explained that fewer than 1, 000 of the total graduates in Bulacan are part of Tesda’s Special Training Employment Program (STEP).
STEP is a community-based program that is designed to offer trainings to residents of a specific area based on their needs, Villanueva said.
Agustin, for instance, is a graduate of a 20-day manicure and pedicure training that is offered to residents of Barangay Fidel V. Ramos in Norzagaray. With 27 other residents of the village, she underwent training from December 19 to January 24, 2014.
Villanueva noted that aside from training and daily allowance, STEP graduates will receive tool kits that could help them start with their profession.
Among the short courses offered by Tesda that runs from one week to 33 days for free are massage therapy, automotive servicing, food and beverages, housekeeping, motorcycle repair, pastry-making and dress-making.